Eating panzerotto in Milan – how Italian women stay slim, eat lots and still fit into skinny pants – it’s a miracle!


While French women may not get fat. Italian women are impossibly slender and usually very well dressed to boot. On top of that, to add insult to injury, they also enjoy their street food, above left mum and daughter tuck into what I suspect is a fried sandwich type thingy (also known as a Panzerotto) from Luinis in Milan. And I am not sure if this is sadism on the part of said attractive Milanese ladies, but when you meet them for lunch, anticipating they are going to mournfully look at a salad leaf and a radish, pick at it listlessly and then drink  1 liter of mineral water instead, ignoring even the radish (how else can they remain in such great shape, you think.) They absolutely do NOT order the salad with dressing on the side, or say, actually I am not hungry,  you know I had a big breakfast. No, instead  they order a very big slice of focaccia with cheese and tomatoes on top and eat it with a side of French fries. And while looking at you eating a grilled fish and salad (which you ordered to fit in and not look greedy) say: ” well I’m not a on diet” apologetically gesturing at their fast vanishing carb-fest, as they inhale  the entire contents of their plate with the concentration and  enthusiasm of a building site worker, who has just spent 5 hours hauling bricks in the sun….. No I am not making this up, can’t you tell?

An Italian male near me tells me this is part of female warfare strategy in Milan, and that Italian ladies (the ones I met by the way are really very nice, don’t get me wrong)  don’t eat for the 3 days following a focaccia and french fry happening. It would make a lot of sense, but then maybe they just have a great metabolism, what do I know?

From watching people eat and wear lots of make-up, high high heels and tight clothes I also wandered through the clothes shops to see what women buy. You learn a lot about a culture from its shopping habits. Although in Milan it’s usually strictly look, don’t touch, unless you are there during the 7 years of slimness with no credit limit and no inhibitions on spending. And to be fair, I was allowed into the shops and allowed to look :). Unlike a colleagues petite sister-  slim (size 0/1 US or 34/36 Europe) who while living in South Korea, would on trying to enter a shop, regularly be met by shop assistants rushing at her shooing her away and emphatically saying ” Noooooo fatty, fatty…….”

Sadly this still makes me giggle, whenever I think about small Korean ladies saying it to a small blond lady…..funnily enough it’s funnier when said with a non-english accent, I don’t know why.

Does this make me a bad person?


15 thoughts on “Eating panzerotto in Milan – how Italian women stay slim, eat lots and still fit into skinny pants – it’s a miracle!

    • it may sound funny, but on some deep primordial level it may be true – back in our caveman days the story would have been: HA look at me I can eat two berries and still be really fat 🙂 my genes mean my family will survive and have lots of children until we get eaten by sabertooth tigers or die or fall off a cliff avoiding a mammoth stampede. Today its – HA look at me I can eat French Fries and a plateful of 3 inch thick bread smothered in melted cheese with token veggies – and still stay skinny – I am going to live really long and not die of heart failure 🙂 – female warfare may not be too far off 🙂

  1. Hahaha! Noooooo, fatty… I remember looking out of a tram window in Milan & seeing a huge crowd of people waiting outside a shop. Your picture reminded me of that day. They were probably waiting in line for Panzerotto too 🙂

    • Hello there – maybe – or outside an icecream shop – or in line for a new model of adidas top line special sneakers 🙂 you never can tell in Italy. Glad I reminded you of a trip abroad. Happy reading.

  2. The Korean way is true, all of it. They are exquisite and all so perfectly formed. I felt like an Amazon there and I am just average by South African standards. I think my one arm will maybe fit into their clothes and boy do they eat….all in the bloody genes I say!

    • ah well – i will put south korea on my list of places to visit with a full suitcase in the knowledge that I cannot stock up on other stuff if i run out down there 🙂 lucky south koreans is all I can say 🙂

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